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Train or coach from London to Southampton?

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We have 2 nights booked at the Holiday Inn in Southampton prior to our cruise in May, so arrival times aren't an issue, but just wondering what would be the best way of getting to Southampton. I had a look online at trains for the day we're travelling and its 71 pounds for the 2 tickets, this is 4 months in advance, seems quite expensive for like a 90min trip. Do the prices go up a lot closer to the time? Is it easier and a lot cheaper getting a coach, we're staying in Paddington, so presume we'd just have to get to Victoria. thanks for any help :)

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Advance train tickets only become available 12 weeks before departure date and generally depart from London Waterloo or Victoria.Its usually cheaper to travel after 9 30am. It can be cheaper getting the coach (National Express) but we managed to get advance singles from London to Southampton for £5 each for our forthcoming cruise (though that was with a railcard so add on a third without)

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Hi....I always prefer train travel and as ann141 said Advance ticket pricing becomes available 12 weeks before. The only point that would concern me is that there seems to be a lot of rail disruption at the moment....we have had 3 days of strikes this week ...so at this moment I would lean towards National Express for reliability.

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Advance train tickets only become available 12 weeks before departure date and generally depart from London Waterloo or Victoria.Its usually cheaper to travel after 9 30am. It can be cheaper getting the coach (National Express) but we managed to get advance singles from London to Southampton for £5 each for our forthcoming cruise (though that was with a railcard so add on a third without)

 

Thanks so much, so I need to check back again at the end of February, but I'll check the coach at that time too :-)

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Hi....I always prefer train travel and as ann141 said Advance ticket pricing becomes available 12 weeks before. The only point that would concern me is that there seems to be a lot of rail disruption at the moment....we have had 3 days of strikes this week ...so at this moment I would lean towards National Express for reliability.

 

Thanks, I always like going by train, as its something that I don't have at home here, but might be a bit of a worry if there's strikes. :-)

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There is also significant engineering works taking place at the weekend resulting in a bus replacement service for part of the journey.

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If you have a look at times and prices via Trainline, there should be a link you can sign up to which will email you when the advance fares are available. You might have to do a dummy booking to get it though!

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I would urge caution about using rail if you have a lot of luggage. The trains to Southampton are designed as commuter trains with very limited storage capacity for cases ie there is no dedicated luggage areas at the end of the carriages. Think less overhead space than on a plane. You could put them on spare seats and hope the train doesn't get busy which should be ok unless travelling in peak rush hour. Just a thought

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There is also significant engineering works taking place at the weekend resulting in a bus replacement service for part of the journey.

 

Thanks, hopefully that will all be finished by May :-)

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If you have a look at times and prices via Trainline, there should be a link you can sign up to which will email you when the advance fares are available. You might have to do a dummy booking to get it though!

 

Thanks, good advice, I've just done that now :D

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I would urge caution about using rail if you have a lot of luggage. The trains to Southampton are designed as commuter trains with very limited storage capacity for cases ie there is no dedicated luggage areas at the end of the carriages. Think less overhead space than on a plane. You could put them on spare seats and hope the train doesn't get busy which should be ok unless travelling in peak rush hour. Just a thought

 

Thanks, we'll only have one case each, coming from Australia we don't have the luxury of being able to bring a lot of luggage :cool:. We definitely wont be travelling in peak times, so hopefully we'll be ok, but we'll look at the coach options too, this may work out better for us

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Until recently, there were few reduced fares on the fast trains (1 1/4 hours) between London Waterloo and Southampton. The new operator, South Western Railway, has more deals than the previous operator. I checked a day at random and there were trains with standard fares of £11.60 and first class was only £19.10.

 

A cheaper alternative is to take Southern Railway from London Victoria. There is hourly service of a through train and fares as low as £5 are not hard to find. The downside is the trains are local (about 15 stops) and take well over two hours. Luggage space is even harder to find than on South Western.

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Until recently, there were few reduced fares on the fast trains (1 1/4 hours) between London Waterloo and Southampton. The new operator, South Western Railway, has more deals than the previous operator. I checked a day at random and there were trains with standard fares of £11.60 and first class was only £19.10.

 

A cheaper alternative is to take Southern Railway from London Victoria. There is hourly service of a through train and fares as low as £5 are not hard to find. The downside is the trains are local (about 15 stops) and take well over two hours. Luggage space is even harder to find than on South Western.

 

Thanks for the information :)

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Thanks, hopefully that will all be finished by May :-)

 

 

Hi....unfortunately these strikes...rail disruptions have been going on for quite some time...months & months maybe even stretching into more than a year....at least... so I wouldn't bank on it all being sorted for May. Just another point up here where we live one rail strike was on for two consecutive days :(

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would love to travel down by train instead of driving but coming from Norwich even the advanced fares are more expensive than staying in a cruise and park hotel in Southampton. Plus the hassle of changing in London is so horrible. Hate the drive down but living where we do we seem to be doomed to bad roads and trains.

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In September of last year we stayed several days near Victoria Station (within walking distance of the bus station). I purchased bus ticket to South Hampton about 2-3 months prior to my trip costing less than $7 USD/pp. it was a very pleasant ride with only one stop that allowed a few passengers to get off. After arriving at the bus station in SH, we walked across street to large grocery store to purchase our wine. Walked Back across street to bus station and Cabs were available to take us to ship. I think the cab fee was about 7 pounds. I would definitely take the bus again. So easy and so inexpensive. On a side note victoria Train station is about 3 or 4 blocks from Victoria Bus Station. Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip!

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In September of last year we stayed several days near Victoria Station (within walking distance of the bus station). I purchased bus ticket to South Hampton about 2-3 months prior to my trip costing less than $7 USD/pp. it was a very pleasant ride with only one stop that allowed a few passengers to get off. After arriving at the bus station in SH, we walked across street to large grocery store to purchase our wine. Walked Back across street to bus station and Cabs were available to take us to ship. I think the cab fee was about 7 pounds. I would definitely take the bus again. So easy and so inexpensive. On a side note victoria Train station is about 3 or 4 blocks from Victoria Bus Station. Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip!

 

Thanks so much, very helpful. I will check back with the bus and train sites in a couple of months, sounds very doable :-)

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I've booked two return tickets on National Express Coach for next month from Heathrow for £57 for both of us. I find it easier than trains where you have to watch your luggage all the time and as previous posters have said chances of a strike or maintenance on the line.

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I've booked two return tickets on National Express Coach for next month from Heathrow for £57 for both of us. I find it easier than trains where you have to watch your luggage all the time and as previous posters have said chances of a strike or maintenance on the line.

 

Thank you, I've just checked for the date we want and its only 17.40 pounds for 2 tickets one way, it would have been about 40 pounds each one way on the train. I'll book tonight.

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Thank you, I've just checked for the date we want and its only 17.40 pounds for 2 tickets one way, it would have been about 40 pounds each one way on the train. I'll book tonight.

That sounds like full price tickets on the train. I assume you are aware the cheaper Advance tickets only appear 10 to 12 weeks before travel.

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Thank you, I've just checked for the date we want and its only 17.40 pounds for 2 tickets one way, it would have been about 40 pounds each one way on the train. I'll book tonight.

 

If you have a look on trainline they have tickets from London-Southampton from as little as £9pp eachway on most dates in May the journey is less than an hour and a half and I find the experience a damn site more civilised than some of the coach journies I have encountered, it may be worth a look.

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If you have a look on trainline

 

Do NOT book tickets on Trainline unless you want to pay booking fees they charge and the train company websites (which sell exactly the same tickets) don't.

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Do NOT book tickets on Trainline unless you want to pay booking fees they charge and the train company websites (which sell exactly the same tickets) don't.

 

Fair point but the booking fee on two singles from London to Southampton in May is 25p so its hardly life changing.

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If you have a look on trainline they have tickets from London-Southampton from as little as £9pp eachway on most dates in May the journey is less than an hour and a half and I find the experience a damn site more civilised than some of the coach journies I have encountered, it may be worth a look.

 

Thanks for that, checked and cheapest the day we want is 71 pound for 2, the booking fee is only 75p though :-)

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I live half way between London and Southampton and along the train route. Having commuted to London on a regular basis, I am very familiar with the trains on this route peak and off peak.

 

The trains are not designed to hold luggage. So even a couple of suitcases and some hand luggage can be a pain as there isn't storage space. Disruptions are frequent which cause trains to get very busy even off peak.

 

You may get lucky and enjoy a comfortable journey but chances are you will end up on a crowded train. So for me, coach is a more comfortable way to travel. Not sure why others on this thread think train is somehow better or more convenient.

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I live half way between London and Southampton and along the train route. Having commuted to London on a regular basis, I am very familiar with the trains on this route peak and off peak.

 

The trains are not designed to hold luggage. So even a couple of suitcases and some hand luggage can be a pain as there isn't storage space. Disruptions are frequent which cause trains to get very busy even off peak.

 

You may get lucky and enjoy a comfortable journey but chances are you will end up on a crowded train. So for me, coach is a more comfortable way to travel. Not sure why others on this thread think train is somehow better or more convenient.

 

Thank you, not having storage for luggage was a concern for us as well.

Plus the large price difference we are definitely leaning towards a coach

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Sorry to drag up a few months old thread! But my query is relevant to train/bus to Southampton from London.

 

On the return, my cruise (P&O, Arcadia ship) says it is unable to confirm exactly what time it is arriving back at Southampton. So it looks like I can't book any advance fares, either train or bus, and will have to pay the full price fare at the station?

 

Is there a way to get an accurate cruise disembarkation time? Or a way to get advance savings but be flexible on the bus/train time?

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Sorry to drag up a few months old thread! But my query is relevant to train/bus to Southampton from London.

 

On the return, my cruise (P&O, Arcadia ship) says it is unable to confirm exactly what time it is arriving back at Southampton. So it looks like I can't book any advance fares, either train or bus, and will have to pay the full price fare at the station?

 

Is there a way to get an accurate cruise disembarkation time? Or a way to get advance savings but be flexible on the bus/train time?

No cruise dis embarkation time can claim to be accurate.There are so many reasons for slight delays etc.If you choose to self disembark it means you can leave the ship as soon as possible which helps but there are occasions when a ship is late arriving at Southampton e.g Azura yesterday which was late docking because of a medical emergency.We tend to book a train for about 10am and just accept that there may be a time when we miss our train and have to buy another ticket!It hasn t happened so far and we reckon the money saved by purchasing the advance ticket over a few cruises is worth the risk.You can buy advance tickets the day before you travel so if you had internet connection you could wait until the day before.It is quite a lot cheaper to travel to/from Southampton from London Victoria than London Waterloo(but much slower route)

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I just get an period return from Waterloo to Southampton Central. I leave the ship as late as possible and get to the station in time for the 10ish or 10.30ish train to Waterloo. no need to book a seat

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I agree with yuvraj re the train service.

 

We've had some really poor experiences of SW trains in the last 6 months. Remember the first Sunday in May with the new timetables? Train, bus, train, bus to get to Gatwick and 100s in the queue for the last leg from Three Bridges to Gatwick. It made the nationals - we were in that queue!

 

That's not been our only bad experience either. A second journey to Gatwick was not so bad but involved 2 extra changes because of some disruption or other. No fun with large cases plus carry-on.

 

Earlier warnings of train disruption and strikes are not without foundation. They are really causing havoc with services in the region.

Other issues:

- the previously mentioned lack of luggage space

- uncomfortable seats

- a carriage arrangement of 2 - 3 seats which makes the carriage extremely cramped and moving down the very narrow aisle with cases looking for somewhere to store them a real challenge.

- narrow aisle = no buffet car (perhaps not a problem if your journey is only as long as expected but with revised timings, changing trains unexpectedly, rushing to get connections, planned refreshment opportunities may not materialise!)

 

As you can tell we've not been impressed with the train service of late!

We've reverted to using National Express

- they don't sell more tickets on a coach than the number of seats

- you can even reserve a seat now for a small extra charge

- the driver will store your luggage in the hold so no need to lift heavy cases on and off the train

- always room for cases

- comfortable, contoured seats.

Only drawback is that there are less frequent services than the train and always the possibility that with an open return the service you want may be full. You have to book your return at the ticket office in Southampton though I'm fairly sure you can do it on line or on an app so could do that in advance once you have an idea of your departure time and are pretty confident you will be berthing on time.

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Posted (edited)

P. S. Buffet 'car' should read 'trolley' (and they stopped buffet cars years ago I was told).

 

Also like dave, we buy open return tickets for either coach or train travel. This leaves your return departure time flexible so you would be able to benefit from cheaper fares as you don't have to wait to purchase until the day of travel.

 

Have you seen this site? As already mentioned they cannot be sure of arrival times because of unforeseen circumstances, but this is the time they think they will be back. Select Arcadia from the drop down (Adonia currently), select 'dates' then 'view' for your sailing date. All anticipated arrival, departure times are displayed. It's not of course set in stone!!

http://www.cruisecal.com/portal/ItineraryLookup/tabid/2918/Default.aspx

From those I've checked, it's between 6 - 7am.

Edited by kruzseeka

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I use National Express all the time. You can often travel for £5 or £7 and it's very easy and good service.

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Sorry to drag up a few months old thread! But my query is relevant to train/bus to Southampton from London.

 

On the return, my cruise (P&O, Arcadia ship) says it is unable to confirm exactly what time it is arriving back at Southampton. So it looks like I can't book any advance fares, either train or bus, and will have to pay the full price fare at the station?

 

Is there a way to get an accurate cruise disembarkation time? Or a way to get advance savings but be flexible on the bus/train time?

 

Just get a train with a cheap ticket to arrive at Southampton at some point before the ship leaves.

 

If you are late for your embarkation spot they are not going to tell you to get lost. If you are early and they are being miserable and won'r let you on, go and use the saving on the train fare to have a beer.

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The ships are nearly always in by 6 am, so if you book anything on coach or train after 10 am, you will be just fine.

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Just get a train with a cheap ticket to arrive at Southampton at some point before the ship leaves.

 

If you are late for your embarkation spot they are not going to tell you to get lost. If you are early and they are being miserable and won'r let you on, go and use the saving on the train fare to have a beer.

 

Weekends in particular seem badly affected by timetable changes, engineering work on the tracks and industrial action. On our last journey to Southampton from Gatwick, the guard came round checking tickets and said he thought the train was terminating in Havant? /Barnham? but, he said, the driver thought he was going through to Southampton! He later came back to confirm he was correct and the driver wrong so we'd have to get off and wait for another connection. We told him of our experience going up to Gatwick the first w/e in May. His response was 'If I want to go somewhere on a Sunday, I wouldn't plan to go by rail!' What a state of affairs. This makes depressing reading:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/c77jz3mdm0zt/south-western-railway

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